This is a variation on the well known story about the person who entertained the Lord. This person cleaned and vacuumed until the house shone – at least most of it. While showing the place off, the Lord zeroed in on the one room that defied the homeowner’s best efforts. It was this room that the Lord was most interested in.
In my version the Lord was allowed, on a temporary basis, to stay in the worst room in the house – not cleaned in years and inhabited by creatures the homeowner did not want to talk about. This suited the Lord just fine because after cleaning up this room he could move on to the rest.
This revision comes out of 1 John 4.7-21. We love and know love because we have come into contact with the source of love through Jesus, the embodiment of love. This love invades lives where there was only a sense of entitlement or (self love) and brings about the expanding ability to love others. John writes of “perfecting” God’s love, by which he refers to the expanding expression of the love that we came in contact with when we first acknowledged Jesus as Lord.
John’s account ends with “whoever loves God must love his brother (or sister). The word “must” is a problem to me because love is never commanded or demanded, but is always freely given and received. If, however, “must” is understood as “the logical extension” it makes more sense. If we are truly touched by God’s love and if his love has truly invaded the dark corners of our lives, our love for each other will follow as naturally as exhaling follows inhaling.
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1John4:12